Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination
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Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination


When J.K. Rowling was invited to deliver the commencement address at Harvard University, she chose to speak to the graduating class about two topics very close to her heart: the benefits of failure and the importance of imagination. Having the courage to fail, she said, is as vital to a good life as any conventional measure of success; imagining ourselves into the place of another--particularly someone less fortunate than ourselves--is a uniquely human quality to be nurtured at all costs.

The stories Rowling shared and the provocative questions she asked of those young graduates have since inspired countless others to consider what it means to live a "good life." Now in print for the first time, her words serve as both a comfort and a call to arms for anyone--of any age--who finds themselves at a turning point. In daring to take a risk, and perhaps fail, and by harnessing the power of our imaginations, we can all begin to live less cautiously and, in doing so, become more open to the opportunities life has to offer.

Title:Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:74 pages

    Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination Reviews

  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)
    Jul 13, 2015

    simply inspiring. ...

  • Raeleen Lemay
    Apr 08, 2015

    Beautiful. This is going right next to Neil Gaiman's Make Good Art on my bookshelf. ...

  • Mohammed Arabey
    Jan 08, 2015

    قد تعتقد أن تقييمي للكتاب بسبب شغفي بالمؤلفة فحسبفدعونا نتفق أن تقرأ 'خطبة' من تلك الخطب التي تلقي علي الطلبة ي...

  • Bill  Kerwin
    Jan 04, 2017

    I enjoyed and admire Rowling’s speech to Harvard graduates (class of 2008). If it is not quite the equal of the greatest commencement addresses of this century—David Foster Wallace at Kenyon (2005...

  • Kai
    Apr 21, 2015

    “As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”This genius woman. J. K. Rowling you're my favourite author. You forever will be....

  • Lala BooksandLala
    Aug 01, 2016

    "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all- in which case, you fail by default."...

  • Brina
    Feb 03, 2016

    The reason I gave this book 4.5 stars instead of 5 is because it was so short. This is the published form of J K Rowling's commencement address to Harvard graduates in 2008. Her words of wisdom ring t...

  • Jeff
    May 07, 2015

    Never was a more true word spoken. A gifted speech from a gifted author. Definitely worth then 20 minutes to finish it! ...

  • Khadidja
    Mar 18, 2017

    “So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began...

  • Rose
    May 12, 2015

    "And rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life." All the people in J.K Rowling's life must feel so incredibly blessed. I would.As a die-hard Harry Potter fan, I have read a l...

About J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling

See also: Robert GalbraithAlthough she writes under the pen name J.K. Rowling, pronounced like rolling, her name when her first Harry Potter book was published was simply Joanne Rowling. Anticipating that the target audience of young boys might not want to read a book written by a woman, her publishers demanded that she use two initials, rather than her full name. As she had no middle name, she ch